Speaking to strangers is different for everybody, and for me I find it to be kind of tough when I’m not the most outgoing person. I’m not usually the one to really initiate a conversation but if someone makes an effort I will definitely hold that conversation and take a minute to get to know a fellow stranger. Due to Covid-19, those opportunities have inhibited unless you are willing make an effort from a distance.
Being an athlete is a great way to meet new people and interact with strangers. It is an excellent way to understand who gets along with others really quickly. There are different ways that we can meet new players like camps, tryouts, and your first year on a school team. It can be a little tricky with goalkeepers because of the fact that we are the ones who are barking orders. It’s really cool playing with strangers because it can show how you can get to know a person with very little words. You have to be able to be on the same page sometimes without knowing the name of another player, trusting them with different decisions even if you don’t always agree with them, and experiencing wins and losses together. You make mistakes, celebrate, and tire yourselves out with these strangers and there is a bond that starts to form, and sometimes new friends are made.
Sadly, with the pandemic, a lot of sports are on hold with not a whole lot of tryouts or camps because that would definitely be frowned upon. But SFU has allowed athletes to train and we were finally introduced to our freshmen. Because I am a goalkeeper, there are times where I need to make the initiative and introduce myself, especially if they are defenders because after all, I am the one in charge of the defense and I am going to be doing a lot of yelling and directing.
At the end of the day, we come together as strangers with a commonality of enjoying and learning soccer and leave the pitch with new memories and with new friends and teammates.